Intarsia Crochet

One of the most challenging words I hear is “Can you make?”

When someone starts a sentence with that phrase, I immediately get a feeling in the pit of my stomach, coupled with a blank look, open mouth, and then one of two things happen; a wave of relief if I’ve made something similar, OR a look of thoughtful confusion. If it is something new, my mind starts working at warp speed, taking internal inventory of my crafty knowledge, and trying to determine if I am skilled enough to take on said challenge. Thus was the case of the crochet Yoda blanket.

Initially the request was a brown crochet blanket for a baby shower gift, no problem! As I was working on the rest of the order, leaving the blanket for last since it takes the longest, my friend, in her infinite wisdom, said it would be really cool if I could add a Yoda to the center. I was playing around with shaping, thinking a Yoda applique, then she emailed me this:

yoda chartI had yet to do such extensive work in my crochet endeavors. Knitting, yes. I had made my good friend a skull blanket as a baby shower gift. She was having a girl, she hated pink, flowers, basically anything girlie. So I made her a knit skull checker blanket, using Intarsia knitting.

skull blankieIntarsia knitting uses different colors in large blocks. Instead of carrying the colors over, like in Fair Isle knitting, you use separate skeins, or bobbins of yarn (small amount of yarn taken from a larger skein), dropping one color and picking up another, as you work along.

Since I had experience with Intarsia knitting, I figured, Intarsia crochet? Why not.

First things first, the graph she sent me was fantastic! But it’s kind of small. So I decided to double each square, and repeat each line in half double crochet. Then I decided to make the Yoda center first, then add to that center, making it larger, like you would if making a large granny square style blanket.

The smaller colored areas (hands, feet, staff), I carried my yarn, the larger areas (robe, head, sides), I used Intarsia crochet. At some points I had 3 skeins of yarn, and 3 bobbins of yarn working at the same time. This is how it turned out.

IMG_1083Pretty cool for using Intarsia crochet for the first time =) I love, love, LOVE, that it looks the same on the right side and the wrong side. With knitting, it is obvious which side is the wrong side, but not in crochet, happy dance!

As I mentioned, I crocheted around this rectangle, using triple, double and single crochet, to get a nice stripped pattern. I also crocheted 2 of whatever stitch I was using, chained 2, and crocheted 2, in each corner *example: 2DC, chain 2, 2DC = corner stitch. In each round after, I put a corner stitch in each chain 2 space. My final blanket measured 36×30 inches, perfect for a crib.

IMG_1084 This technique has endless possibilities. I immediately went out and bought some graph paper to make my own patterns, thereby adding to my never ending to do list. Expect more posts soon.

Have a Crafty Day!

 

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Geeking Out

We are feeling truly blessed in our crafty endeavors. My sissy was approached by a Comic book shop, Brave New World Comics, that was looking to expand by opening a Geek Boutique. They were looking for crafters that fit their Genre and customer base. I am admittedly a geek. I heart Marvel comics, thanks to my collector brother, and have the entire first series of Marvel cards, complete will team-ups, origins and first appearances. I am a fan of Sci-Fi, and like Sheldon Cooper, prefer Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the original series deserves honorable mention. I think my sisters all kind of looked at me funny because of my geeky passion, but I have found my people! More appropriately, those that share my passion, have found our shop, WOOT, WOOT!

I have been working on stock for upcoming craft fairs, so I immediately sent a sampling to the shop for a preview. They love them!

geek boutique tmnt geek boutique

They have already had customers try to reserve the character hats, WHAT? We are so very excited, and overwhelmed by the response. Our ETSY shop has been fabulous, and busy, but this is a whole different experience. My hook is on fire, and my mind is whirling with design ideas. Here are my two latest ones. Previously mentioned Star Trek, series, Gold for Command; blue for science, and medical; Red for security and engineering.

DSC01102For those non-Trekies, please don’t confuse these with Next Generation. They decided to change colors around for Next Generation, namely the red and gold. Red, more of a maroon red, is for Command and pilots, and gold is for engineering and security, while blue stayed the same. Plus the Next Generation communicators are set on top of an oval. I know, I know, geek lesson, but you gotta know.

My next new design is one of my kiddos favorites, Beemo from Adventure Time.

BeemoMy 3 year old started “playing” with the buttons as soon as I finished.

You can call me a nerd, geek, Sci-Fi fanatic, it hasn’t changed me, and with this new chapter in our crafty lives, it will only fuel my geekyness (yes that’s a word).

Have a Crafty Day!

Fairy Gardens

At a church craft fair this past fall, there was an elderly lady who was selling fairy gardens she had made. Outside of the movies, I had never seen a real fairy garden. They were darling! I choose a small simple one to put on my front porch.

original fairy gardenIt is so sweet, and it looked great on my wire plant holder. Now she did tell me this was for inside use, but I wanted others to see this adorable little creation. I should have listened. The plant died, and the pine cone roof shingles started falling off. I was so very sad. I decided to take a break from yarnology to fix it and make my little fairy happy. The kids collected twigs, pine cones, and rocks, and I bought some decorative rocks and moss from the craft store.

In hindsight, I should have taken pictures as I made the pieces so I could share them with you. Next time, this time I will just share my new and improved fairy garden I made with my daughter. I’ve tried to take pictures of all the little tidbits we made.

This is a small fire pit we made by hot gluing rocks together, and then hot gluing a small stack of twigs.

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I also found a male fairy riding a snail so my fairy wouldn’t be lonely. For the house, we hot glued fake moss to the sides. Then we took apart some petals from a fake hydrangea flower I had in the garage, and glued them to the roof. I started at the bottom and worked my way up to simulate shingles. We used twigs, hemp, fake moss, and a LOT of hot glue to make a little arbor. It isn’t extremely sturdy, but I love the look of it!

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My daughter picked out the smallest rocks to make a little path to the front door. I didn’t have a ton of space, but I was able to squeeze in a little pond of clear blue decorative stones.

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Here’s another angle of our little masterpiece.

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 I imagine a true fairy’s garden would be difficult to see from above. Success! This was a blast for my little girl and I to make, and we will be making more, so stay tuned.

Have a Crafty Day!